Dansportalen

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

BillyEs Solidaritet

Pau Gimeno in "Solidarity" with Natalia Millàn as the dance teacher Sandra Wilkinson. Photo Biily Elliot ES

08 jan
2018

El Billy – a Show with Tears

MADRID: Since September 2017 the Billy Elliot show has been playing in Madrid. At least a dozen countries in Europe have set up the show. And how is the Madrid version, British humour mixed with a Latin Europe temperament?

The show is supposed to run until March 2018, but might run longer due to high demand of tickets.

I got the rare chance to meet all six Madrid Billys at the same time in order to make this interview for Dansportalen. It was arranged between two shows, so Dansportalen got a 20 min interview. As this is Spain the first show started at 17.00 and ended at 20.00 and the second show started at 21.00. It was already after midnight when we tumbled out of the theatre full of joy over what we have seen.

Compared to all the shows I have seen earlier, here in Madrid they have added more emotions and why should everything that happens on stage be told in words? Showing feelings instead of words lifts the whole sequence.

In an other version I have seen in East Europe, Billy and Michael were not allowed to give even a small kiss on the cheek. And do not dress in girls clothes, so the whole number with Michael is incomprehensible. Billy and Michael had to be dressed as clowns.

Here in Madrid they even add a sweet gay couple in the beginning of the second part of the show, when it is the Christmas show. And in the end, when Billy is leaving with his suitcase and left Michael on the stage on his bicycle. They both cry when they are separated...

Now meet the six Billy's: Pablo Bravo (14) Cristian López (12) Diego Rey (13) Miguel Millán (13) Óscar Pérez (14) Pau Gimeno (13)

6 Billy Madrid

From left: Pablo Bravo, Cristian Lopéz, Diego Rey, Miguel Millán, Óscar Pérez, Pau Gimeno.

How were you selected for the show?

Cristian: It was my dance teacher who told me to apply for the show. I went there and did the audition and passed through.

Pau: A friend of my mother told us about the casting for Billy Elliot. She thought this would be something for me as I was already dancing.

Óscar: I saw a promotion online and I thought “wow” this must be something for me. I had never before been to Madrid, so this was a very nice opportunity for me.

Pablo: A dance teacher in my school told me the show Billy Elliot would open in Madrid. I sent my information and they asked me to come to the casting in Madrid.

Diego: A dance teacher told me about the casting and that I should apply for the show. So I went to Madrid for the audition.

Miguel: I didn’t know anything about dance before I was chosen for the role in Billy. I had to learn everything and that was fantastic. Before this show I had never danced. And I have never done a musical before. So what happened is something I never thought would happen – I was chosen for the Billy role!

CristianLopez

Grandma Mamen García and Cristian López. Photo Billy Elliot ES

What are your experiences of song, music and tap?

Cristian: I have only done some acrobatics.

Pau: I have done a lot before both song and tap. But this was a new experience for me and the show has made me much better. I have developed a lot.

Óscar: I did some ballet and acrobatics but now I have learned tap and how to act.

Pablo: I have been dancing for nine years and been in musicals before. So I had some experience of dance, but here I have also developed singing and acting. They have taught us acting, tap and acrobatics – yes everything!

Diego: I have been doing acrobatics so I had to learn everything else for the show: song, dance, tap and acting

What have been the most demanding tasks for you in the show?

Cristian: I think tap dancing has been a real challenge, because I have never done it before. We also had a short time to learn tap, it is a very tough number.

Pau: Tap, singing, and the ballet. I can say everything was hard.

Óscar: Everything was hard to learn but specially it was all the song numbers.

Pablo: I liked to learn tap because it was something I couldn’t do before the show. I have also developed my acting.

Diego: I agree with Pablo, tap and acting have been the funniest part.

Miguel: The acrobatics! There are things to make better, when the others do acrobatics i e, but we work all the time to be better on stage. But I like the ballet.

Pau Gimeno Carlos Hipolito

Carlos Hipólito as the Dad and Pau Gimeno. Photo Billy Elliot ES

Carlos Hipólito says to Dansportalen after the show regarding how to be emotional on the stage:

"When the kids are crying they are not suffering or feeling pain. They feel what the character must feel and at the same time they feel that the people in the audience get astonished by what they see.

How is it to have different boys doing the show?

Every child paints the scenery and the stage with a different colour and you have to work with it, look at it and feel what they send to you.

How do you act when you want to show something emotional?

Pablo: We don’t think so much about how we are going to affect the audience. We try to feel what is happening as if it was in real life. When we are emotional in a scene, we also affect the audience.

Diego: It is more or less the same for me. The characters or the actions we do on stage, motivate us so our feelings also touch the audience.

Óscar: Believe what you do. Believe you are Billy Elliot. Give everything from yourself in the moment you play is the best way.

Pau: You apply yourself to be the character and try to act as that person in different situations. You think you are the person.

Cristian: It is exactly what my friends here say; you are at one with the role and the character.

Pau: A lot of work! (With a sigh of relief.)

What's your favourite number on stage?

Cristian: The scenes and acting with the mother and the teacher.

Miguel: "Angry dance"! When you have done the scene with the mother and afterwards you do the "Angry Dance", you feel free and redeemed.

Óscar: I really like "Electricity" because I love the dance and all the acrobatics. And I also like the "Dream scene" when Billy is flying.

Diego: I like "Electricity" most, there Billy can show that he can really dance.

ensemblen BE ES

The ensemble of the Billy Elliot Production. Photo Billy Elliot ES

Do you think Billy could be a real person?

Miguel: He can, or he is . . . He is like many others – he wants to dance but doesn’t get support from his parents.

What do you do when you suddenly forget your lines or what to do on stage?

Cristian: We are good friends who can help if we get lost. We are always responsive and help each other if someone else forgets his lines.

Miguel: Today during the ballet scene I couldn’t put in the cassette. In situations like that you just keep calm and continue.

Óscar: Situations like that make me nervous, but I know that reaction doesn’t help at all.

Diego Rey

Diego Rey in an arabesque. Photo Billy Elliot ES

The last 5 minutes before the show, how do you prepare yourself?

Diego: Wow. eh... calm down a bit and think of the role.

Cristian: I am always running! Then I change into the Billy costume and put on the microphone.

Miguel: First I always eat a banana for good luck on stage! And seconds before the show starts I always say “disfruta”. Which means, “enjoy”.

Óscar: I need five minutes in the dressing room by my self in order to concentrate on the show.

What do you want to do after the show is over?

Cristian: I want to be an actor, because I love to be on stage. I have always had that dream and this gives me the opportunity.

Miguel: I don’t know what I am going to do after the show, if it will be dance, song or acting. But I want to continue to do something on stage.

Óscar: I would like to do something with film or musicals. Even if I leave dance after Billy, the door is always open if I want to continue dancing.

Diego: For me dance is the most important, but as the others I want to develop acting and musicals.

6 Billy

Six Billy's: from left Cristian, Pau and Oscar. Standing from left Diego, Pablo and Miguel. Foto Cristian Hillbom

Why do you think Billy is so popular all over the world?

Cristian: I think because Billy is so real. He is a boy who wants to dance, despite the resistance from his family. It’s a common situation in the world whatever the kids want to do. Billy is a character for all of them.

Miguel: The Billy Show is incredible and the story is beautiful. It changes the mentality of all who see the show. They follow a child in a process to be himself.

Óscar: I think Billy changes people because the story is so beautiful and emotional.

Yes, you are very emotional compared to people in Northern Europe?

Miguel: We are not so locked in and serious. We are more open and expressive here.

Diego: We have another way to see things. Whatever we have inside, we release it!

Cristian Hillbom
8 January 2018


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